Elevating hospitality in Lake Arrowhead

Apr 1, 2021 | Lake Arrowhead

By Mary-Justine Lanyon

This past year has been a frustrating one for Kyle Avarell but his dream is finally coming to fruition.
On April 1, he opened the doors to Jetties Waterfront Kitchen + Drink, the newly designed space formerly occupied by Woody’s Boathouse in Lake Arrowhead Village.

From the time he got out of college and was living in Washington, D.C., Avarell had thought it “would be fun to open a restaurant at some point.” He just wanted the right timing and opportunity.

Being in the midst of a pandemic may seem like neither the right time or opportunity, but Avarell said that “as much as we were a little panicked last year, I think this is a good time for Lake Arrowhead. Everyone has bought houses up here. The winter months are not as slow as they used to be.

“People are hungry to get out and have new experiences.”

Last spring, Avarell put in his order for bar equipment and furniture. However, all those manufacturers were shut down. “Everything was delayed for two-and-a-half months,” he said. “We were at a standstill.”

Meanwhile, he had the kitchen replumbed and refurbished any equipment that was left. “The bones of the restaurant were still there,” Avarell said.

He had put together a basic menu but left it to his chef, Matt Gordon, to fine-tune it. “The food is fantastic,” Avarell said, noting that Gordon came from The Grill at the Antlers. “A lot of the dishes are traditional dishes but Matt has put his own twist on them. He makes as much from scratch as possible.”

The menu starts with shareables – nachos topped with house-smoked pork belly, mac and cheese, a poke tower, spicy or really spicy wings, buffalo cauliflower, crab cakes (which Avarell raved about) and more.

There are several salads – chicken and prosciutto, seared ahi, peach burrata and fried chicken Caesar. There are angus burgers as well as fried chicken on a brioche bun. Sandwiches include roasted turkey, chicken caprese, Banh Mi and poke.

Lake plates range from roasted to fried chicken, smoked brisket to salmon, shrimp bucatini pasta to brisket stroganoff. And there’s a 12-ounce ribeye.

In designing the space – which is bright and cheerful – Avarell made sure it flowed well. “We made the aisles big so people can pass easily.” There are several booths but most seating is at tables or at the large bar. All seats have a view of the lake.

Rather than waiting to be seated and then waiting for a server to come and take diners’ orders, guests will order at one of the stations at the Chris-Craft counter. Armed with an order number, the guests will then choose a table, where a food expediter will deliver their food. Guests can also choose to sit at the bar and order their food there. TVs mounted above the bar will show a variety of sports with the sound muted.

Bar manager Babe Gomez, who also came from The Grill at the Antlers, developed a list of specialty cocktails which are divided into several categories: light and refreshing (the Arrowhead Queen has apricot liqueur and champagne), fruity (Hibiscus Sour), strong and spirit forward (Royal Oak old fashioned) and café (spiked Thai tea and a coffee drink featuring vodka and Kahlua). Many of the drinks can be made nonalcoholic. Beer, margaritas, mojitos and sangria are available by the pitcher.

There are 24 draft beers, from craft to domestics. In addition to having Lake Arrowhead Brewing Co. beers on tap, Jetties will have four-packs of their cans available to take out. In addition, there will be a display refrigerator by the order counter with beers to go.

“We have a very approachable wine list,” Avarell said. “It’s not overwhelming.”

Avarell anticipates boaters pulling up and coming in to order food and drink to take out on the lake. Last weekend, he said, “a few boats pulled up. That got us excited.”

Folks can place to-go orders in advance either by phone or through Jetties’ website: www.jettiesla.com.
As for seating, when COVID restrictions are no longer in place, Jetties will be able to accommodate 150 diners indoors. The patio will seat 50. And Avarell was granted permission by both Lake Arrowhead Village and the Alcoholic Beverage Control to put tables along the railing by the lake where they will be able to seat 60 people. Each of those tables will have an umbrella to protect diners from the sun.

“Outside dining last summer made the Village much more lively,” Avarell said. “I think our lakeside dining will give that same sort of energy – that’s what the Village needs.”

He has decorated the space with historic photos of Lake Arrowhead and has mounted some vintage wakeboards on the walls as “an ode to Woody’s.”

In addition to Avarell, Gordon and Gomez, the management team includes General Manager Jason Francis. “We have a good management team,” Avarell said. They held a staff tasting last week, with the kitchen running “full blast.” And training people well, he added, “is our big deal.

“It was fun designing the space and putting it together,” Avarell said. “I hope we provide hospitality.
“Elevating hospitality in Lake Arrowhead – that’s our goal.”

Jetties Waterfront Kitchen + Drink will be open Tuesday through Sunday, with weekday hours from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. They will be open until 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Visit their website for more information or call (909) 744-8269.



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